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A couple of the research blogs I follow lately have had some insight that really struck me as they fought off dualism in regards to the thorny issue of psychological vs. physical addiction and the brain, arguing that the elimination of mind and body distinctions is a good thing, as addictive pathways are real, physical represented by neuronal circuits.

This is an interesting argument, that collapsing psychology to the brain mechanisms brain can erase stigma by medicalizing it and making it a matter of physical function.    In addiction it makes quite a bit of sense.  We know what part of the brain is being stimulated, that dopamine reward pathways are building and feeding the habit.  The derogatory statement, “It’s all in your head,” remains technically true, but loses its bite when you can explain it in such a real and tangible way. Read the rest of this entry »

    As mind/brain and spirit/body dualism have slowly broken down over the past century, puzzling consequences have been left in its wake.  Nowhere are these consequences more evident than in psychology and neurology.  We take seriously the charge to heal the mind and the brain.  We research it, learn about it, ponder over it, all in the hope that someday we will be able to cure illnesses that are currently untouchable. 

Dementia, Schizophrenia, Stroke, Traumatic Brain injury, to name just a few all have permanent and dire consequences for the individuals involved.  The individual’s very mind, consciousness, personhood, spirit, whatever you choose to call it–their very essence or being is changed,  irreversibly at present, by the disease.  To have a sick brain is to become less human in a very real sense.  Read the rest of this entry »

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